Eau Claire reportedly selected as Arena League expansion franchise

Eau Claire has reportedly been chosen as the sixth franchise of The Arena League, a new football league that is scheduled to start play with its four already established teams next month, the Leader-Telegram has learned.

According to the website, Happening Next, a meet and greet with the Arena League (AL) commissioner and National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown is set for 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Eau Claire Event District, 5775 20th Avenue in Eau Claire, during which more details about the expansion franchise are expected to be revealed.

In an online vote on the Arena League website, Eau Claire was one of five cities that were considered by the League for its expansion. St. Joseph, Missouri; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Dallas, Texas; and Rochester, Minnesota were the other four cities. Hot Springs was selected as the fifth expansion team late last month. Both expansion teams are expected to begin play at the start of the 2025 season. The league, set to kickoff its inaugural season this June, currently consists of four teams: the Ozarks Lunkers, the Duluth Harbor Monsters, the Iowa Woo and the Kansas City Goats.

The Leader-Telegram reached out to League officials Monday afternoon, but had not heard back from them as of press time.

The Arena League touts itself as being different. According to their website, they are planning to create opportunities for football fans to enjoy the game in a different way and also provide an opportunity for athletes to showcase their skills in a new environment.

In noting the differences in this league, the website states that differences will include the game being played on a 50-yard field, with a 15-man roster, whose players will reportedly play both offense and defense. In addition, the games will likely be faster than traditional football with no huddles and a quick play clock. The League, according to the website, will showcase younger players, who can think quick and adapt and will be fan friendly, as fan input is reportedly welcome and encouraged.

The Arena League is led by a group of executives and investors, starting with league chairman and commissioner, Tim Brown. Brown is serving as the league’s top official and brings a wealth of experience in the sport from his Heisman Trophy winning time at Notre Dame, to his Hall of Fame-earning NFL career. He spent sixteen years with the Los Angeles / Oakland Raiders, during which he established himself as one of the NFL’s greatest wide receivers of all time.

Ronnie Davis is the league’s deputy commissioner with Michael Kuban serving as the director of officials. Davis has worked in the professional sports industry for his entire career. He has spent the majority of his time in the Dallas/Fort Worth market working for teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks and more. He led the Dallas Cowboy-owned Dallas Desperado’s AFL team for Jerry Jones. Additionally, Davis re-launched the indoor soccer team, the Dallas Sidekicks, serving as its owner and CEO for several successful seasons, his official bio on the league’s website states.

Kuban has over 20 years of experience as an official in football and basketball in the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth areas. Currently serving as an assistant professor in the Sports Management Department at Southern Methodist University, Kuban has worked in operations and officiating with the Dallas Desperados of the AFL. In 2023, he oversaw the officials for the MASL for the Mesquite Outlaws, as well as serving as the lead announcer for the team in their television broadcasts.

According to The Arena League’s website, Kuban’s major emphasis with the officials in the league will be to create a seamless and consistent enforcement of the rules that best serves the coaches, players and fans. Members of the league’s board of advisors will reportedly be named soon, according to the AL website.

For more information about The Arena League, visit